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Western Animation / The Brothers Grunt

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"And don't forget the olives!"

Their lives were simple, relaxed and fun
Until Perry became the Chosen One
The Chosen One, he's the brother named Perry
Oh, he flips! He blows the monastery!

In the early '90s, MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head was coming under fire for being a bad influence on children. MTV decided to temporarily cancel Beavis and Butt-Head to make necessary changes to the content. While that was happening, MTV turned to Danny Antonucci for a replacement show. This was that show.

The Brothers Grunt (1994-1995) was about the leader of the grunts, Perry, who had escaped. His five brothers (Frank, Dean, Bing, Sammy and Tony) have to find him or else the brotherhood of the grunts will fall. It's a Cult Classic to fans of Danny Antonucci. After this show ended, Danny would later be famous for Cartoon Network's Ed, Edd n Eddy. As of 2016, the show has not appeared on VHS or DVD. However, there is a fan movement to help support the idea of releasing the show onto DVD.

No relation to the obscure Nickelodeon cartoon The Brothers Flub.

The Brothers Grunt provides these tropes:

  • Animal Lover: Dean in "If I Could Grunt To the Animals". He's ecstatic to be given a tour of the (severely underwhelming) animal habitats in Uncle Stumpy's Farm, and lovingly hugs what first appears to be the only animal in the petting corral.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: At the start of "Paging Doctor Grunt", doctors were performing surgery when suddenly Tony rips out of the body and falls head first on the floor. One of the doctors said in shock, "Oh my god! Look at his neck!"
  • Big Eater: In "Scrub me Sammy", the big fat lady who rescues Sammy fits this trope. After wolfing down a case full of rations, she eats the case, then eats a nearby oar.
  • Binomium ridiculus: The episode "A Day In Grunt History" reveals the grunts' earliest ancestor to be "Gruntus Not-Quite-us".
  • Call-Back: In "The Scent of Grunt", The Detective visits many locations from previous episodes, including the hospital from "Paging Doctor Grunt", Uncle Stumpy's Farm from "If I Could Grunt To The Animals", and the Wacky Wayside Tribe from "Perry Molo".
    • In "Poobah Blues," a runaway prisoner asks if the Poobah has any aftershave on him, to which the latter replies that he is also parched. This calls back to the pilot, when the Poobah drinks from the "Water of Brut"note  after "cleansing" the brothers.
  • The Cameo: Beavis and Butt-Head in "Close Encounters of the Grunt Kind".
  • Celibate Hero: Sammy's infatuation with a lamp notwithstanding, the Grunts are celibate. In a flashback, the Poobah urges the Grunts to shun romance.
    Poobah: Ah, love! The joining of hearts! The exchanging of gifts and fluids! It is not for our kind, brothers. Love is a temptress, a succubus intent on shopping for furniture. Deny love, my boys, or suffer the ultimate fate: Sunday with the in-laws!
  • Character Tic: The Detective always carries a hot cup of coffee in one hand and tends to rummage in his trouser pocket with the other.
  • The Chosen Zero: After Perry is revealed as the Chosen One, he flees the monastery, placing the future of the Grunt brotherhood in peril.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: What everyone thinks of the Detective when he tells them about the Grunts.
  • Crappy Carnival: In "If I Could Grunt to the Animals", Dean visits Uncle Stumpy's Animal Park, which includes fly-ridden snacks, a sickly old lion, and wild slugs. The "monkey" is actually a kid in a monkey suit, and the man-eating alligator is actually a puppet. Government agents later shut the park down.
  • Cut Short: The series ended without the brothers reuniting with Perry and taking him back to the monastery.
  • Deranged Animation: This is an understatement.
  • The Determinator: The Detective trying to capture the five Grunts.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Grunts appeared in an ad for MTV before the show was made; that ad can be seen here.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Gruntus Poobah tells the audience that in ancient times, the Grunts were persecuted by those who did not understand their ways.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: In "To Hell With Bing", Bing plummets into a fiery Hell, where damned souls are tormented in a giant bowl of soup and eaten by a red monster.
    Soul: I know what I did was wrong, but they were so pretty!
  • Folk Hero: Kevin, a legendary Grunt who grew to manhood on the back of the Primus Gruntus Maximus. Kevin built the monastery that the Grunts now call home.
  • Garden of Evil: In "To Hell With Bing", Bing finds himself in a field of flowers that savagely attack him. The field pulls back to reveal a hellish landscape.
  • Grossout Show: There are plenty of nauseating scenes and instances of Toilet Humour, most of it involving the Grunts.
  • The Grotesque: Every Grunt without exception is extremely ugly, but not inherently a bad person.
  • Hero Antagonist: The detective, who is constantly trying to arrest the Grunts for the trouble they inadvertently cause on their misadventures.
  • Hidden Depths: Frank shows a surprisingly compassionate side in "Close Encounters of the Grunt Kind", stopping his own escape to be sure fellow victims can get away and even running back to try and save one from the alien chasing them.
  • High Priest: The Poobah presides over Grunt rites and celebrations.
  • Humans Are Ugly: In a brief moment, a Grunt carnival freak show shows a normal human man, implying humans are considered grotesque by grunt standards.
  • I Ate WHAT?!:
    • In "Make Mine a Grunt", a barmaid unwittingly pours Frank into a glass, which an oblivious patron drinks. When the patron relieves himself in the restroom, he's horrified when Frank comes out.
    • In "Smells Like Dean Spirit", the Frenchman is initially horrified when he learns that the water Dean gave him is actually Dean's sweat. It's so delicious that the Frenchman drinks it anyway.
  • In the Hood: In "The Ceremony", all Grunts wear hooded robes except for the Poobah and the initiates.
  • Initiation Ceremony: All initiates into the Brotherhood of the Grunt go through an initiation rite presided over by the Poobah. Initiates are anointed with the Salve of Roid to protect them from sins of the flesh, the Water of Brut to protect them from embarassing situations and social faux pas, and the Tablet of Retsin to keep their breath fresh. Finally, the Poobah rubs each initiate's head with a duck, and if the duck flies away, it signifies that the Chosen One has been found.
  • Interspecies Adoption: In "The Ugly Gruntling", Sammy hatches out of an egg and is taught about chicken life by his hen "mother", much to the horror of the other chickens.
  • The Jeeves: Ringo, the Gruntus Poobah's manservant. Ringo is a small human who wears a turban, carries Poobah everywhere, and quietly makes him martinis.
  • Kavorka Man: Shockingly enough (and despite being mistaken for particularly ugly animals at times), the brothers have their moments.
    • Dean is fought over by three trailer park women in "Viva Grunt Vegas".
    • In "Where Angels Fear to Grunt", a biker woman literally clings to Frank and licks his head and neck in a lustful way.
    • In "The Detective", Bing is swarmed by five adoring women just for walking down the street.
    • In "Timmy's Best Friend", Sammy is eyed laviciously by a boy's mother at the dinner table.
    • Perry has, on more than one occasion, been seen in the company of at least one woman who seems infatuated with him.
  • Magical Foreign Words: Grunts usually communicate through grunting, and strange things happen when they use English. By uttering "corn", Tony stopped a vicious argument between a military man and a hippie, made friendship blossom between a woman and a purse-snatcher, and caused a depressed cowboy to abort a suicide attempt. However, when he growls "potato" at a pro-corn rally, the crowd erupts in rage.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Always.
    • The Detective is unaware of a sixth Grunt.
    • Whenever the brothers get close enough to actually grab Perry, he always jets off (none the wiser) at the last minute.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: The Primus Gruntus Maximus, the progenitor of the Grunt race. It's a colossal being that floats in the sky and pops baby Grunts out of its back.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The person who is singing the song's intro is impersonating Tom Jones. Danny originally wanted Tom Jones to sing the song's intro, but that didn't happen.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Most of the eponymous brothers have perpetual grimaces that show off their teeth. Sammy, on the other hand, sports a constant pucker that hides toothless gums.
  • The Olympics: In "Grunt Games", the Grunt society holds its own Olympics, featuring wedgie-wrestling, necktie-tying, synchronized swimming in melted cheese, martini relays, and hurling gigantic olives onto gigantic sandwiches.
  • One-Gender Race: The Grunts appear to be all male. They are born from a single parent called Primus Gruntus Maximus.
  • The Pig-Pen: In "The Ugly Gruntling", Sammy is sucked into dairy equipment and ejected in the shape of a cheese block. An oblivious cheese packer wraps him in paper and leaves him on a shelf to age, after which he emits a vile odor. The odor causes two farmers' eyes to water uncontrollably and induces a seizure in a woman at the fair.
  • Police Brutality: Police arrest a potato farmer and set his potato harvest on fire when cornmania sweeps the nation in "Cream Style".
    • In "Make Mine a Grunt", police officers fire tear gas into a karaoke bar and proceed to beat Frank senseless.
    Cop: Tell him what he's won, Sarge!
    Sarge: You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, we have the right to kick you in the face, hit you with bags full of oranges, and pummel you with telephone books. You have the right to an attorney, one who couldn't get a real job, so they're forced to handle state charity cases.
  • Refusal of the Call: Perry flees from the monastery after being named as the Chosen One. In "The Ceremony", Perry is shown hurling his red cape and hot water bottle headpiece off a cliff in disgust.
  • Rescue Arc: Subverted. When government agents arrest Uncle Stumpy and shut down his animal park, they mistake Dean for an abused animal. An oblivious Dean is shipped off to a zoo.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: In the middle of certain episodes this will happen. A random music video will play that fits with the episode, and the grunts would appear either doing random things or walking by the singers (who cannot see them).
  • Share the Male Pain: In "Grunt Games", some Grunts are seen clutching their groins in fear after observing a Grunt suffer a wedgie.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The main characters' names are nods to famous singers from the 1960s: Frank, Tony, Bing, Dean, Sammy and Perry.
    • In "Clean Up in Aisle Grunt", two chatty women are named Wilma and Betty.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: The Grunts fall into Level XIII. They're ashen white, veiny, and twitchy, with bulging yellow eyes.
    • Inverted in that the Grunts see themselves as normal and humans as hideous. During the celebrations that followed Perry's coronation, two Grunts are shown staring at a "freak show". The "freak" is a normal-looking man in a suit.
  • Speaking Simlish: The grunts follow this by making grunt sounds, although at times they only said a few words only once. Averted with the Gruntus Poobah, who speaks articulately.
  • Species Surname: Only implied—a Grunt is a completely seperate species from humans, having evolved from a strange lizard creature (rather than primates) long ago, and while the series is called "The Brothers Grunt", the title characters are only ever referred to by their first names. However, a phone operator in "The Big Crapple" is able to connect the brothers to Perry's phone number by searching for "P. Grunt", implying "Grunt" might also be their chosen surname.
  • Staring Contest: Sammy wins a staring contest with a rival in "Requiem for a Sammy". In a flashback, we learn that the Poobah trained Sammy to excel at staring.
  • The Storyteller: The Poobah shares stories of the brothers' adventures and Grunt legends with the audience.
  • Thirsty Desert: Dean gives water (actually, his own sweat) to a Frenchman lost in the desert in "Smells Like Dean Spirit".
  • Too Important to Walk: Poobah is carried everywhere by his servant, Ringo.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The Grunt diet only consists of Cheese
  • Trademark Favorite Drink: Grunts adore martinis. After Perry's coronation, the assembled Grunts drink a martini toast to their new leader. During the celebrations that follow, the Poobah chugs martinis as fast as Ringo can mix them.
  • Trouser Space: The brothers spontaneously pull objects, usually food, out of their boxers.
  • Vague Age: The main brothers'age is never given—they're definitely adults, born at the exact moment as each other, and younger than the Poobah who raised them, but exact numbers have never been stated.
    • The Poobah himself is old enough to be present at the brothers' birth, but again his age is never stated. Further complicating things is the fact he looks the same in flashbacks as he does now.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: When not wearing robes for special rites, all Grunts walk around shirtless in their underwear.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Tony masquerades as an old woman in the beginning of "Cream Style".